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iomart’s cloud hosting helps Nova International manage increase in Great North Run race entries

12th September 2011 · Press Releases

iomart Hosting, the iomart Group’s cloud computing and managed hosting subsidiary, has taken Nova International, organiser of the world’s biggest half marathon the Great North Run, into the cloud.

Nova migrated its Great North Run website to the cloud with iomart Hosting earlier this year and will be performance testing the solution over the next few weeks. More than half a million people will visit the site over this coming weekend for the Bupa Great North Run, as well as registering for Nova’s other Great Run events in Edinburgh, Sheffield and Portsmouth which take place in October.

Chris Kewin, IT Director at Nova International, said: “iomart Hosting’s technical expertise and support provides relief to Nova’s small but busy IT team. It’s critical for our business that we have a 24/7 scalable service.

Nova is looking seriously at cloud technology on which to build third generation systems that can scale out rather than up. Cloud technology provides the potential to bring in additional processing power during peak business periods rather than owning, managing and paying for that processing power all year round. When peak periods slow, properly designed clouds allow processing power to be scaled down again, ensuring business demand drives the technology requirements.”

Currently iomart Hosting hosts twelve servers for Nova which run the websites and entry systems through which 100,000s of competitors register to take part in its world class series of mass participation, televised sporting events and access useful information about training.

While September is the busiest time of the year for the Great Run website, over recent years interest has increased and the site now gets almost two and a half million visits per year.

Chris Kewin explained: “Just moving to a cloud alone is not enough. Business software that runs on cloud servers must also be scalable, and must also be able to use the processing power that the cloud provides in a compatible way or no real benefit will be realised. With this in mind having a strong relationship between cloud providers and development teams, like we do with iomart Hosting, is essential to ensure smooth delivery of services.”

Sarah Haran, managing director of iomart Hosting, said: “We’ve developed a strong relationship with Nova over the past five years which has allowed us to support the incredible growth in the popularity of its sporting events. The new cloud services we are providing for Nova will allow their IT team to manage future growth in their events portfolio much more efficiently.”

iomart Hosting is a subsidiary of iomart Group plc, which was recently named Scottish Digital IT Company of the Year, and is ranked as one of the top 25 cloud services providers in the world. iomart has been shortlisted as a finalist in the National Business Awards 2011 in partnership with Orange.

Nova International

Nova International, headed by Olympic medallist, Brendan Foster, is one of the UK’s leading event management and sports marketing agencies. The company’s current brand portfolio also includes some of the biggest running events in the world, all based on the Bupa Great North Run, the world’s biggest half marathon with over 54,000 entries.

Nova International was established in 1988 and has a strong sporting pedigree. Based in Newcastle upon Tyne, Nova has established itself as a market leader in the world of sports marketing and event management. For more information please visit

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